June 2, 2023

ONE Championship will have its first tournament in July after months of suspending all scheduled events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The July 3 event set at the Singapore Indoor Stadium will be a blockbuster as mixed martial arts pound-for-pound king Demetrius Johnson will challenge long-time ONE flyweight world champion Adriano Moraes for the world strap.

The 33-year-old Johnson earned a ticket to fight for the world belt as the ONE flyweight world Grand Prix winner after winning via unanimous decision against Danny Kingad of Team Lakay in October 2019.

Johnson, who is considered one of the best MMA fighters on the planet, has an impressive record of 30 wins, three losses, and one draw with most of his wins recorded during his stint with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world’s leading MMA promotion.

The 31-year-old Moraes from Brazil has not been seen inside the ONE circle for 16 months after winning via decision against former title challenger Geje Eustaquio also of Team Lakay in January 2019.

Moraes successfully defended the belt once held by Eustaquio.

The Brazilian champion once defeated Kingad in a world championship via first-round rear-naked choke in November 2017.

Reports also said that ONE: Fist of Fury will feature a blockbuster title bout between two-division world champion Aung La N Sang of Burma and former champion Vitaly Bigdash of Russia in the co-main event.

The 35-year-old La N Sang is the reigning ONE middleweight and light heavyweight world champion and the most adored combat sports athlete in his home country.

The Burmese fighter clinched the ONE light heavyweight world belt with a technical knockout win against Filipino-American Brandon Vera in October 2019.

It was also in March 2019 that he defended his ONE middleweight world belt against Japanese challenger Ken Hasegawa, whom he defeated twice.

This is the third time that La N Sang will face Bigdash inside the circle as the two warriors first met in January 2017 with the Russian fighter defending his belt via unanimous decision.

La N Sang came back strong as he captured the middleweight world belt with a unanimous decision against the 35-year-old Russian fighter in June 2017.

Since then, La N Sang became a formidable champion who has defeated some of the toughest fighters in his division the past two years.

It was not immediately known if there will be Filipino fighters lined up in the main and undercard bouts. – Harley F. Palangchao